Anais Nin (1903 - 1977) is considered by many to be an influential writer in the literary world especially for erotic writing. Her ability to express her sexual freedom during a time of feminine repression gave many women the opportunity to explore their sexuality and continues to do so today. She authored several novels, critical studies, essays and numerous diaries.
Little Birds opens with a short preface, by Anais, taken from the intro of another of her books, Delta of Venus. In it she says "these are my adventures in that world of prostitution." This sets an interesting tone for the thirteen story collection. I wouldn't really call them short stories in the traditional sense more like vignettes into a character's sexual exploration.
They all seem to start the same way, introducing the main character in the opening sentence and climax in the last quarter. Quite a few of the stories have a main character talking to another about a sexual experience with a stranger, model or artist. One of the things I found amusing, considering Anais was the foremother of erotic writing was how a penis is a "penis" and a woman's organ is "her sex".
This 168 page book of shear fantasy is only my second foray into the world of erotic writing and I enjoyed this one more, both for its language and content. Even though the main plot is getting to the sex there was thought put into the characters rather than having sex shoved in my face like a dirty magazine. The writing is eloquent, steamy and sexy without being crash.
Here are the stories.
*The Woman on the Dunes
*Hilda & Rango
It's hard to ignore the political incorrectness of the short story Little Birds. It immediately turned me off with its whole adult/child fantasy scenario about an artist who likes to expose himself to young school girls. Another objectionable storyline which may be difficult to anyone who's been sexually abused is Lina, a lesbian obsession story, but by today's standards it reads like a date rape scenario with the victim being drugged and taken advantage of by a man and a woman.
One of the better stories is The Woman on the Dunes. In this one you get a double fantasy. First the main character, a man, encounters a woman on the beach and they have sex. Afterward, as they bask in what they've shared, the woman tells him about the time she had sex in the crowd (during a hanging) with a man who she never sees. Sirocco was an excellent story about a woman who not only takes charge of all aspects of her life including her sex life.
One of the things I appreciated was how the Anais was so appreciative of different body types. Arousal is very subjective. What one finds stimulating another may not. Little Birds is an interesting experience into the world of erotica and if you are new to the erotica venue I recommend it for its sensual stories.
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M. E. Wood lives in Eastern Ontario, Canada. If you are going to find this eclectic reader and writer anywhere it is probably at her computer. For more information visit her official website.